We’ve had lots of feedback on our webinar, “End The Family Feud: Managing Family Dynamics While Caregiving
”. Now that you have a roadmap for your family meeting, many of you wonder, “When should I have a family meeting”?
First, meetings should not be reserved for a crisis. Actually the word ‘meeting’ probably is scary to most people, so it may help to think about having a family ‘meal’, food for the sustenance of your family. Having them often to avert a crisis, a conflict, or a feud is the best practice you can use as a caregiver.
The more you have meetings, the more comfortable everyone will be about talking through issues and concerns. I found that my family meetings/meals got better and better as we met; honest comments also increased as members knew we shared important goals for our loved ones.
Key points in a family’s caregiving journey do signal that a meeting MUST TAKE PLACE.
loom such as bills need to be paid, insurance needs to be updated, or decisions about investment income need to be adjusted.
concerning updating and modifying a will, trust, and/or foundation information are needed.
A time-sensitive decision
needs to be made such as a transition from one healthcare facility to another.
One or more family members
are concerned about their participation in family decision-making.
Long distance family members
have arrived for a visit.
are moving toward resolution.
Complicated medical information
needs to be communicated.
A turning point
in the patient’s medical situation has occurred.
You can probably add more to this list!
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of following a set of steps for your family meeting. (Those steps can be found on both the eCareDiary.com
websites under the webinar, “End The Family Feud: Managing Family Dynamics While Caregiving
Think of the family meeting as a MEAL that provides patient well being and sustenance to your family for the long term.
The successful caregiver will also share the agenda with family members, so everyone has an engagement in and responsibility for the meeting’s success. I found the more we as a family used the meeting steps, the more engaged and successful our meetings were. Furthermore, the level of trust among family members increased as real feelings and opinions were brought forth.
I wish all of you successful family MEETINGS AND MEALS!
Margery Pabst is the co-author of Enrich Your Caregiving Journey, winner of the 2010 “Caregiver Friendly Award”. Margery is also eCareDiary’s caregiving expert and hosts the monthly “Caregiver and Physician Conversations” heard on BlogTalkRadio. She also answers a key caregiving question each month on eCareDiary’s “Expert Q/A”. For more information about Margery Pabst and her book, see www.pivotalcrossings.com